People who travel frequently have met this situation at least once in their lives: you plan to board your plane on a calm, sunny day only to find out that your flight is canceled because of wind speed. You stare at your fellow passengers who have the same confused look on their faces “What gives? How can that be possible?”
Before you shout your indignation out loud, you should know that flight cancellation due to wind speed is always a complex process that involves several factors, such as:
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- Crosswind components
- Runway conditions
- Airline Policies
- Pilot experience and skills
Why airlines limit their explanations?
Airlines will never bother you with all the intricate details that go behind taking this decision. It would take too long, and it would have entire hordes of grounded passengers quarreling about wind power and angulation. Some would simply lick the ball of their index fingers and point them upwards to conclude that conditions are perfectly safe for air travel.
What is the maximum wind speed that planes can endure?
Most airline carriers can fly safely if the maximum crosswind speed is of 20 knots. Of course, it also depends on plane technology, use, and operating conditions. Some pilots who are well aware of their planes’ status may choose to delay or cancel the flight altogether.
What to do when you cannot fly because of wind speed?
When your flight is delayed or canceled because of unsafe wind conditions, you can claim compensation for the inconveniences that you experience as a result. In this case, you can approach the services of a professional company that deals in this field.
You cannot blame the pilots for putting your safety first and canceling your flight. They believe that remaining on the ground is preferable to flying through a hurricane, and who can blame them? However, that does not mean you should not get a refund for your ticket and compensation for the unexpected disruption of your plans.
When does wind speed become dangerous mid-flight?
One of the most dangerous wind conditions occurs when planes fly over high mountains and at a low altitude over their peaks. When flying across a mountain range, wind speed is relatively smooth and mellow, and planes rarely experience any problems.
However, once the plane reaches its top, it has to face an abruptly increased crosswind speed. It is during these moments that the aircraft performs a bouncing up and down movement, which is commonly known as turbulence.
Is wind speed enough to cancel a flight?
Sometimes, an airline may refer to weather-related conditions as being unsuitable for flying. It could be that besides wind speed, they also have information about turbulence, thunderstorms or freezing rain ahead. At this point, wind speed may be the least of their problems. A combination of the other ones can affect air travel in a worse fashion than a few knots over the maximum crosswind speed.